Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Ponyfic Roundup 64: Stating Point of View

Up until a couple of days ago, the weather in these parts was rather nice, and highly conducive to sitting in the garden with the e-reader. That means that I've managed to get my week's stories read with some ease this time around. In fact, I've managed six! As ever, I list the fics under review in the order I read them. They are:

The Contest by Cold in Gardez
Deadlock by monokeras
So Long, and Thanks for All the Ponies by Sir Ginger
Twilight Lifts a Pebble. by Squarks
Celestia's Dream Journal by TooShyShy
He Kindly Stopped For Me by Pascoite

The Contest by Cold in Gardez
Fluttershy, Twilight, Rarity, Luna, Nightmare Moon, Celestia, Angel and OCs
Comedy; 7K words; Nov 2011; Everyone
Fluttershy returns to defend her title as Quiet Game world champion.
This is one of the relatively few 2011 ponyfics that's still well worth reading today. Although not quite up to CiG's best modern standards (we even get a "butter yellow pegasus"), it still bounces along very enjoyably. You may feel Rarity gets a bit of a tough break at one point, but otherwise this is great fun and excellent light reading. ★★★★

Deadlock by monokeras
[none listed, but OCs]
Dark/Random; 2K words; Jun 2015; Everyone
Equestria and the Griffon’s Republic of Ornipagoi are en route to an internecine war… maybe not so internecine.
This is based on a short story I haven't read by Dino Buzzati, so I hope I didn't miss too much. English is not the author's native language, but there are only a few serious errors. More of a problem is the annoyingly overblown prose; possibly this is a nod to Buzzati, but I find it distracting. A decent plot, but the ending is quite predictable. Also, "droogs" in a ponyfic? ★★

So Long, and Thanks for All the Ponies by Sir Ginger
Mane Six, Spike and OCs
Comedy/Random/Crossover; 59K words; Apr 2012–May 2013; Teen
A re-imagining of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy... with ponies naturally.
Pinkie Pie is Ford Prefect. How you react to that sentence will probably determine whether you'll like this fic. It's very uneven, the ending is underwhelming, it's in severe need of editing and proofreading and the author overdoes the use of words from the original (particularly "Belgium", "frood" and "hoopy"). Every so often, though, there's an idea which really does feel like something Douglas Adams might have come up with, and that makes a good deal of difference. You won't enjoy this if you're unfamiliar with Hitchhiker's (why?) but otherwise it could go either way. Should really have an Adventure tag too, though sadly Fimfiction doesn't permit Excitement and Really Wild Things ones. ★★★

Twilight Lifts a Pebble. by Squarks
Twilight
Random; 1K words; Jan 2013; Everyone
Twilight lifts a pebble, and nothing else happens.
This is a writing exercise, consisting entirely of a very detailed look at how Twilight goes about achieving the action in the title. I don't know what else I was expecting, really. Almost a three, since I find the method Twi uses quite interesting, but not as interesting as if it had been explained in half the space as part of a longer piece. ★★

Celestia's Dream Journal by TooShyShy
Twilight and Celestia
Tragedy/Dark; 2K words; Jul 2014; Everyone
Princess Twilight reads through a journal of Princess Celestia's prophetic dreams.
This story is set in late S4, something which will gradually become clear as you read. Decoding the code used is very easy, and I'm not sure this fic has as much depth to it as I was hoping a story based around such an interesting idea would, but at this length it's hard to complain too much. Worth a look, if only for what it suggests about Celestia. ★★★

He Kindly Stopped For Me by Pascoite
Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, Luna and Nightmare Moon
Sad/Slice of Life; 17K words; May 2014; Teen
An accident leaves Scootaloo fighting for her life. While everypony tries to help, a few in particular discover a few new things about what exactly it means to be a sister
There are lots of fics out there in which Scootaloo is badly injured and Dash feels awful about it. This one is a cut above most of them for several reasons. For one thing, the medical aspect is treated in some depth: Nurse Redheart is more than just a background pony here. More important, though, is the interaction between the other characters – who include a very interesting Death – which is fascinating (if sometimes disturbing) throughout. One stylistic decision is confusing, but that actually works in context. I'm not sure I really buy the action that gets Scoots into trouble in the first place, which is why I can't give this a five, but it's an easy four. ★★★★

6 comments:

  1. "Droog" is a term from A Clockwork Orange, meaning roughly "friend" (maybe a little more "compatriot"), from the Russian "drug", for "friend".

    And I just wrote a story about how not to be pedantic. :'D

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    1. Oh, I know where "droog" comes from. It just jarred a bit seeing it in a ponyfic!

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  2. *looks at Ponyfic Roundup number and title*

    I see what you did there. :)

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    1. I was hoping someone would. :)

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  3. I just now noticed this one, too. I know the confusing thing you're talking about, but no matter which way I chose, it was going to confuse some people. I thought it'd be better to use what I did or readers would forget what she looked like. Still, I asked around to see what people thought and the majority recommended going this way.

    This version of Death is probably one of the characters I had the most fun writing of all time. I don't know what it is about Death, but I enjoy writing different takes on him/her, and off the top of my head, I think I've done 4 such stories.

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    1. I can't say I can think of an easy way round that, either. Still, the option you chose obviously worked! I only vaguely remember reading this particular story, but I can still remember Death. I do tend to compare every Death I come across to Terry Pratchett's, but I stopped doing that fairly quickly with yours – a good sign. :)

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